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While high school outfielders will be the most coveted preps in next week's Major League Baseball Draft, the same can not be said for middle infielders.
High school shortstops have often been the prize at the top of the MLB draft with seven prep shortstops going No. 1 overall since Chipper Jones was the top pick in 1990. Only 14 preps have gone No. 1 overall since 1990, meaning half of them were shortstops.
This year, however, very few shortstops make the cut with one likely to be chosen in the first round. Additionally, some of the top prospects have given strong commitments to college, meaning they will likely be bypassed in a draft that is only five rounds long in favor of a player who is ready to sign and play.
there will be far fewer draft selections this year, MaxPreps is
providing a truncated look at the top high school selections for the MLB
Draft, scheduled for June 10-11. Instead of the usual Top 10, MaxPreps looks at the Top 5 players
at six different positions. We've previously presented corner infielders
Ed Howard, Chicago Mt. Carmel (Chicago)
Easily the top high school shortstop prospect, Howard likely will stick at the position due to his strong and fluid fielding skills. Howard has also sported a solid bat after batting over .400 in one of the toughest leagues in the nation with 29 RBI and three home runs. Look for Howard to go somewhere in the middle of the first round. Projection: Top 15 pick.Yohandy Morales, Braddock (Miami)
At 6-foot-4, Morales shows a lot of potential to be the type of big shortstop in the mold of an Alex Rodriguez or a Cal Ripkin Jr. His hitting skills have vastly improved, batting .321 with two home runs as a junior, but had boosted his totals to batting .500 with four home runs in nine games as a senior. Projection: Second round.Drew Bowser, Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.)
Bowser showed his power this spring when he hit grand slams in back-to-back games. Scouts project Bowser to be a power-hitting infielder in the major leagues, which could mean a move to third base at some point. Bowser has committed to Stanford and reportedly will play in college. With a five-round draft, teams may not waste a pick on a player committed to play in college. Nevertheless, Bowser is at least a second-round talent. Projection: Second or third round.Cade Horton, Norman (Okla.)
Horton likely will have a decision if he gets drafted. He's already committed to play both football and baseball at the University of Oklahoma, but selection in the MLB draft could be a game-changer. Horton threw for 3,084 yards and ran for 1,149 for Norman. In baseball, he was the Gatorade State Player of the Year with a career .420 batting average. Like Bowser, Horton likely won't be drafted if he is serious about playing football in college. Projection: Third round.Milan Tolentino, Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
The son of Jose Tolentino, a former MLB player and current MLB broadcaster, Milan Tolentino has been one of the top shortstops in Southern California for the past several years. He led his team to a Southern Section championship as a junior when he batted .391 and was named Southern Section Division 2 Player of the Year. He has signed to play at UCLA. Projection: Fourth round.